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Extreme heat today; county health department urges caution

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – With temperatures expected to top 90 degrees over the next few days, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health is advising residents to heed their warning when it comes to the dangers of extreme heat.

Dr. Faisel Khan, director of the public health department, said observing common sense precautions is key to comfort and safety this summer.

The department released the following recommendations any time temperatures hit 95 degrees:

• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
• Spend as little time as possible in the sun and keep activity levels to a minimum.
• Drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic beverages, especially those without sugar or caffeine.
• Take regular breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned room.
• Eat light, easily-digested foods, avoiding hot, heavy, or greasy meals.
• Be sure not to leave food unrefrigerated for long – food spoils rapidly in the heat.
• Take care of those who might not be aware of the danger or able to react accordingly – especially young children and the elderly. Check on your neighbors and relatives if they may be vulnerable or do not have air conditioning.
• Use air-conditioning whenever in a vehicle or roll down the windows if there is no air conditioning. Never leave a child or a pet in a parked car without air conditioning!
• Know the signs of heat exhaustion. If someone becomes dizzy, nauseated, or sweats heavily, find a cooler location for him or her immediately.
• Know the signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke is much more serious than heat exhaustion. The symptoms are similar to heat exhaustion, but also include hot, flushed skin, and normally sweating stops. If heat stroke is a possibility, call 911 immediately. Heat stroke is life threatening!

In the event a person cannot keep their residence at a comfortable temperature, they’re advised to call the United Way of Greater St. Louis by dialing 211 or 800-427-4626 to find the location of the nearest cooling center.